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Get healthy the Princess way

Alison Berkley

These girls at the gym were standing around the locker room in their G-string underwear the other day talking about getting their colons cleansed. Not spring cleaning – intestine cleaning.

First I should mention that only skinny girls stand around the locker room chatting it up in their G-strings. Although I have on occasion seen an average-sized woman get naked and step into the shower, it’s out of necessity.

There’s no reason she should have to get her clothes soaking wet just because the shower door is clear. But the thin ones will stand around all the livelong day in their birthday suits and gab, gab, gab, as if to make it crystal clear that looking good is all about genetics and has nothing whatsoever to do with working out, since we are all there together, working out.

So then Beanpole A tells Beanpole B about this colon-cleanse treatment she’s doing “to make her stomach flatter.” Beanpole A is paying someone to clean her insides out with a tube that is inserted into the other end so that her colon can be pumped with fluids to flush out any toxins.

Now I can remember once or twice in my life I had to have my temperature taken that way, and I’m pretty sure it was because I was in the hospital under circumstances well beyond my control. There are a lot of things I would do to make my stomach flatter, but I can’t say that is one of them.

For like three days beforehand, she is to take herbal this and juice that and eat no solid foods whatsoever. I’m pretty sure there are people in Ethiopia with more weight on them than this woman. I wonder if she has anyone at home who will be able to fill her back up when she deflates like a balloon after not eating for three days.

She informs us that she’s to do this treatment three times. “Your colon is like five miles long,” she says. “So a lot of stuff gets caught in there.” She goes on about it like it’s no less ordinary than having your car washed. (“For an extra $10, they will polish and wax your small intestine.”)

Despite the gory details, what struck me was that the Pole actually thought she needed to lose weight. I wanted to shake her by her bony little shoulders and scream, “If you think you’re fat, what do you think that makes me?” Oh, don’t tell me: Strong. Healthy. Well-rounded. Or, maybe I’m thin as a rail and like her, don’t even realize it. Yes, that must be it!

Later that same day, I get a call from my friend Bridget, whose life revolves around how much weight she’s gained or lost and which clothes do/don’t fit because of it.

She calls me at least once a day to tell me what she ate. “You’ll never believe it. I lost like 5 pounds since Sunday and I haven’t been working out!” She found the answer to the diet mystery in a magazine.

“I eat an apple every day at 4 o’clock, and I can’t believe how well it’s working,” she exclaims. “I’m never hungry.”

I told Bridget the answer to weight loss is simple: Starve yourself, and if you eat too much, throw up afterwards. Oh, relax. I meant to say “grow up” and stop worrying so much about what other people think.

The apple-a-day theory is a cakewalk compared to this Atkins stuff, which would behead you for even thinking about cake. At City Market they now have a whole section dedicated to “low-carb” foods, designated by a graphic of a long-legged, thin figure that seems to be leaping for joy even though she cut sugar out of her diet.

I would assume the people who buy this stuff are the same lame-ass people who go to the J-Bar and take their burger off the bun and order no fries with a salad (dressing on the side), or wrap their little deli sandwiches in lettuce leaves and call it a day.

What’s worse, these Atkins people have figured out a way to take “bad carbs” and turn them into something else entirely. If a cookie has no sugar or flour, can you really still call it a cookie? If it doesn’t have the ingredients of a cookie then what is it, exactly? Talk about a hippo in sheep’s clothing or however that saying goes.

I saw a girl at the supermarket the other day and her cart was literally filled to the brim with these pseudo-products and I thought to myself, “I really ought to put her in touch with the girl at the gym who gets her butt cleaned.”

Just because spring is here and we will soon have to bare our pudgy, white bodies to the world does not mean we should all resort to these crazy diet plans and drastic treatments. I have a friend who has been a personal trainer for a long time and I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about. He has a stomach more ripped than a Chippendale’s and will show it to me at the slightest provocation and say things like, “You stick with me and your stomach will look like this. I’ll help you to lose all that weight.” And I always say, “What weight? Whatever do you mean?”

I asked him, as a fitness expert and someone who has been in the business for like a hundred years, for the bottom line. How does a girl overcome these dreadful physical hurdles put in front of her by an image-obsessed society?

“Simple,” he said, pausing for emphasis. “Stop being such a pig. Eat less and then get off your lazy butt and go workout.”

The Princess would like to remind you that there is such a thing as fat and happy. E-mail your dieting nightmares to her at alison@berkleymedia.com


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